Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Physician Assistant Studies

Program Success

Recruitment and matriculation of highly qualified applicants.

The average GPA of the matriculating applicants for the most recently admitted class was a 3.7 overall with a science GPA of 3.6. All matriculating students (including those from the 5 year BS to MS accelerated track) averaged 2800 hours of patient care experience and 100 shadowing hours.

Maintain a comprehensive didactic curriculum that will prepare students for their clinical experiences.

During the didactic curriculum there are 10 credit hours devoted to a building a strong scientific foundation in courses such as Anatomy A & B, Medical Physiology and Pathophysiology, and Immunology, Microbiology, and Genetics.  This then gives the foundation for the additional 29.5 credit hours of clinically oriented courses such as Physical Diagnosis and Medical History Taking, Clinical Medicine, Clinical Reasoning, and Clinical Disciplines Overview.

Students are required to successfully pass all didactic coursework prior to entering the clinical year. The program utilizes various methods of assessment to ensure students are well prepared for clinical rotations including simulation, standardized patients, and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE).

Preceptors have noted that students are consistently well prepared for clinical rotations when surveyed, noting that 95-100% of students are appropriately prepared on key areas of practice such as medical history-taking, physical exam skills, diagnostic ability, and medical documentation, among others. 

Provide a high quality clinical curriculum that will prepare students to pass the national certification exam and be competent entry level physician assistants.

All students must pass a summary evaluation process at the end of the clinical which includes written final summary exams and OSCE examinations in order to ensure adequate preparation for entry into clinical practice.  In 2017, 100% of students passed their written summative exams on the first attempt and 100% of students passed their OSCE within 2 attempts. 

The 5 year the composite pass rate for the PANCE National Certification Exam for all Thomas Jefferson University, East Falls and New Jersey Campuses first time test takers has been 96%.  This compares to a composite national pass rate during the same period of 95%.

Graduates are surveyed annually and 100% of respondents from last 3 years noted that they are adequately or more than adequately prepared for primary care clinical practice. 

Recruit and mentor a group of highly qualified faculty and staff dedicated to the delivery of an excellent curriculum, continuous self and program improvement, and lifelong learning.

Courses are taught by full time faculty with 75+ years of cumulative experience in the physician assistant profession and 35 years of experience educating physician assistants.  All full time faculty continue to work clinically to bring the most up to date information to the curriculum and attend educational conferences to stay abreast of changes affecting PA education.  In addition, guest instructors and clinical preceptors are utilized who are experts in their field.  All full time and adjunct faculty are master’s degree or doctorate level scholars.  In addition, the full time faculty have recently completed or have the following degrees in progress: Doctorate in Organizational Leadership, Master’s of Business Administration, and Post-Master’s Certificate in Midwifery. 

Develop and maintain state of the art facilities for student instruction.

The East Falls Campus is housed in Hayward Hall and the Tuttleman Center on the University’s main campus. The space between the two buildings consists of three classrooms: the main lecture hall with seating for 56 which opened in 2001; an 870 sq. ft. physical diagnosis/technical procedures laboratory with eight tables and 3 medical simulators, which has been utilized by the program since its opening in 1995 and updated in 2010, and a ten-table, technology-equipped cadaver lab that was added in 2005. In addition Thomas Jefferson University, East Falls and New Jersey Campuses partners with the Center City Campus Clinical Skills and Simulation Center to utilize state of the art assessment lab for evaluation of the students through OSCE examinations. 

The New Jersey Campus is housed at 443 Laurel Oak Road in Voorhees, NJ. This newly renovated, 12,000 square foot space has a 60-seat classroom, a large conference room, a brand new physical diagnosis/clinical skills lab with medical simulators, a 12 station cadaver lab, administrative offices, break out and study spaces for the PA students and faculty.

Maintain accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

The Thomas Jefferson University PA Program, East Falls Campus and New Jersey Campus, has been continuously accredited by the ARC-PA since 1996.

Physician Assistant Program NCCPA National Certifying Exam Results

Since its inception in 1995, the composite pass rate for all Jefferson, East Falls and New Jersey Campuses first time test takers has been 95%, with 4 years during which 100% of students passed on the first attempt.  The five year average of the first time test taker pass rate for Thomas Jefferson University, East Falls and New Jersey Campuses has been 96% while the five year national average first time test taker average is 95%.